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FORD SENDING ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO MEXICO

 FORD SENDING ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO MEXICO
 DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F)


will send two of its Ecostar electric vans to Mexico City next year for evaluation as part of the company's 87-unit international electric vehicle fleet test program. This is believed to be the first time any major automotive manufacturer's electric vehicles will be used in Mexico.
 John R. Wallace, director of Ford's Electric Vehicle Developmental Programs, announced the arrangement with Ford of Mexico in a speech at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Solar and Electric Vehicle Symposium in Boston. A simultaneous announcement is being made in Mexico.
 The advanced technology vans will be used by Ford of Mexico in a demonstration program for environmental and government officials in Mexico City, where air pollution is a severe problem. Ford of Mexico will provide data to Ford's Electric Vehicle Program Office here to help ensure that future Ford electric vehicles will be "customer friendly."
 With 2.6 million vehicles in the metro area of Mexico City, ozone concentration levels beyond permissible international standards have often been reached and government authorities have been forced to implement emergency actions, slowing down or stopping industry activity and restricting motor vehicle usage. The use of all passenger cars in the metro area is regulated because of the heavy pollution levels. In such an environment, electric vehicles could help reduce pollution, Mr. Wallace said.
 Ecostar is based on the European Escort van, a small, front-wheel- drive delivery vehicle. It can reach speeds up to 75 miles per hour and has a real-world driving range of 100 miles before needing a recharge. The vans will be modified in the United States to accommodate an electric motor, single-speed transaxle, electronic controls and a sodium-sulphur battery.
 Ford will fleet-test Ecostars in the United States, Mexico and Europe beginning next year.
 "Ecostars will be driven in pilot programs for several years before we will be satisfied enough to make electric vehicles generally available for sale," said Mr. Wallace. "We aren't going to put Ford electric vehicles on public sale until we are certain they meet quality and customer satisfaction standards.
 "With our pilot program, we at Ford are doing our part to make the functional characteristics of the electric vehicle as attractive as possible to customers," he explained. "However, because of the newness of electric vehicle technology, cost of ownership will be at a disadvantage compared to that of gasoline-fueled vehicles."
 Ford's Electric Vehicle Program recently moved from the corporate Technical Affairs activity to the Car Product Development staff of its North American Automotive Operations, where it is the third vehicle segment (along with small car and large car segments). This reflects the program's advance out of the laboratory and onto the road, Mr. Wallace noted.
 -0- 10/9/92
 /CONTACT: Beryl Goldsweig of Ford, 313-337-2456/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company; Ford of Mexico ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG -- DE014 -- 8390 10/09/92 13:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 9, 1992
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